A number of Mark DeRosa's teammates have said he'd make a great manager one day. DeRosa is a baseball man through and through, can relate to players regardless of their age or position and has a sense of humor which allows him to bring levity to tough situations.
But DeRosa doesn't think he's ready to stop playing just yet.
The 37-year-old hit just .188 in 85 at-bats during yet another injury-riddled campaign. An oblique injury cost him much of the season and the death of his father made this year even tougher from a personal perspective.
Still, DeRosa wants to keep going, if a team will have him.
"I really don't know," DeRosa said after last night's heartbreaking Game 5 loss. "I refuse to give in and say, 'I'm done.' I won't do that. I'll let the powers that be make those decisions. I still think I can be valuable. But I'm also honest with myself and realize the last three years since I got hurt pales in comparison to what I'm capable of doing.
"So if the phone rings I'll listen. If it doesn't, I'll move on."
DeRosa has battled major wrist issues the past couple years, zapping his power. But he still feels like he has something to offer and has more left in the tank which didn't get a chance to surface this season.
"Of course I want to keep playing," he said. "I'm in great shape and feel like I can contribute. But the numbers say otherwise since I thrashed my wrist up pretty good. We'll see. I didn't think the phone was going to ring this offseason and it did. I got a chance to be a part of a great team and a great group of guys and a team that's going to be in the playoffs for a long time to come so, we'll see.
"I'll let the game dictate whether or not it wants me to keep playing."
I've written countless times this season about the veteran leadership that DeRosa provided and how important he was to creating the team chemistry which Nationals players often raved about.
One lasting image I'll have from this season is DeRosa taking the microphone attached to the karaoke machine near his locker and using it to roast anyone and everyone who walked by. He ripped on reporters, shouted out lines from teammates' Wikipedia pages and read off Twitter bios with a super-sarcastic tone. DeRosa turned out club music and sang songs as his teammates laughed hysterically and bounced up and down to the beat on the chairs in front of their lockers.
DeRosa might not have hit much, but he provided plenty behind the scenes.
"I had a blast this year," DeRosa said. "This is the first time in my career I ever hit a buck-eighty and had fun, to be honest with you."